Tajikistan profile - Timeline

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8th century - Tajiks emerge as distinct ethnic group; Arab invaders conquer Central Asia, including what is now Tajikistan, and introduce Islam.

9th/10th century - Persian Samanid dynasty gains control of Central Asia and, in alliance with the caliph of Baghdad, develops Bukhara as centre of Muslim culture.

13th century - Genghis Khan conquers Tajikistan and the rest of Central Asia, which becomes part of the Mongol Empire.

14th century - Tajikistan becomes part of Turkic ruler Tamerlane's empire.

1860-1900 - Tajikistan divided, with the north coming under Tsarist Russian rule while the south is annexed by the Emirate of Bukhara.

1917-18 - Armed Central Asian groups exploit the upheaval in Russia following the Bolshevik revolution to mount an insurrection, but eventually fail.

Soviet rule

1921 - Northern Tajikistan becomes part of the Bolshevik-designated Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), which also included Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, part of northern Turkmenistan and southern Kazakhstan.

1924 - Tajik ASSR set up by Soviets and becomes part of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR).

1929 - Tajik ASSR upgraded to the status of an SSR and becomes distinct from the Uzbek SSR; acquires territory of Khujand from Uzbek SSR.

1930s - The collectivisation of agriculture completed despite widespread resistance.

1960s - Tajikistan becomes the third largest cotton-producing republic in the Soviet Union; heavy industries, notably aluminium, introduced.

1970s - Increased Islamic influence, violence towards non-indigenous nationalities.

1978 - Some 13,000 people take part in anti-Russian riots.

Late 1980s - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness, leads to the formation of unofficial political groups and a renewed interest in Tajik culture.

1989 - Tajik Supreme Soviet (legislature) declares Tajik to be official state language; Rastokhez People's Front established.

Independence and civil war

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Russian troops intervened in Tajikistan's bloody civil war in the early 1990s

1990 - State of emergency declared and some 5,000 Soviet troops sent to the capital, Dushanbe, to suppress pro-democracy protests, which are also fuelled by rumours that Armenian refugees are to be settled in Dushanbe; Supreme Soviet declares state sovereignty.

1991 - Tajik Communist leader Qahhor Makhkamov forced to resign after supporting the failed anti-Gorbachev coup in Moscow.

Supreme Soviet declares Tajikistan independent from the Soviet Union; Rahmon Nabiyev, Communist leader during 1982-85, wins Tajikistan's first direct presidential election with 57% of the vote.

Tajikistan joins the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the collapse of the Soviet Union in December.

1992 - Anti-government demonstrations in Dushanbe escalate into civil war between pro-government forces and Islamist and pro-democracy groups which eventually claims 20,000 lives, displaces 600,000 and devastates the economy.

Violent demonstrations force Nabiyev to resign in September; Emomali Rahmonov, a pro-Nabiyev communist, takes over as head of state in November.

1993 - Government re-establishes control, suppresses political opposition and imposes strict media controls; Supreme Court bans all opposition parties, leaving the Communist Party of Tajikistan as the only legal party.

1994 - Ceasefire between government and rebels agreed; Rahmonov announces willingness to negotiate with opposition; referendum approves draft constitution reinstituting presidential system; Rahmonov elected president in ballot deemed by international observers as neither free nor fair.

1995 - Rahmonov supporters win parliamentary elections; fighting on Afghan border erupts.

1996 - Islamist rebels capture towns in southwestern Tajikistan; UN-sponsored cease-fire between government and rebels comes into effect.

Peace accord

1997 - Government and rebel United Tajik Opposition (UTO) sign peace accord; National Reconciliation Commission, comprising government and opposition members, created to supervise implementation of accord; Rahmonov injured in grenade attack.

1998 - Rahmonov pardons all opposition leaders in exile and agrees to appoint one of the Islamist opposition's leaders as first deputy prime minister. Rebel uprising in north is crushed with the help of former opposition groups.

1999 - Rahmonov re-elected for second term with 96 % of the vote; UTO armed forces integrated into state army; Rahmonov awarded order of Hero of Tajikistan.

2000 - Last meeting of the National Reconciliation Commission held and a new bicameral parliament set up in March; a new national currency, the somoni, introduced; visas introduced for travel between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

2001 August - Renegade warlord and former opposition commander Rahmon Sanginov, regarded by the government as one of its most wanted criminals, is killed in a gun battle with security forces.

2001 September - Tajikistan is quick to offer support to the US-led anti-terror coalition, set up after the 11 September attacks on the US.

War in Afghanistan

2002 July - Tajikistan doubles the number of border guards along its 1,300-km (800-mi) frontier with Afghanistan to prevent al-Qaeda members from entering the country to escape US forces.

2003 April - Russian President Vladimir Putin visits and announces plans to boost Russian military presence.

2003 June - Referendum vote goes in favour of allowing President Rahmonov to run for a further two consecutive seven-year terms when his current one ends in 2006. The opposition describes the referendum as a travesty of democracy.

2003 July - Parliament approves a draft law abolishing the death penalty for women and reducing the number of crimes for which men can face punishment.

Supreme Court sentences Shamsiddin Shamsiddinov, deputy leader of opposition Islamic Rebirth Party, to 16 years in jail on charges with murder. His party says the case is politically motivated.

2004 July - Parliament approves moratorium on death penalty.

2004 October - Russia formally opens military base and takes back control over former Soviet space monitoring centre.

Opposition leader arrested

2004 December - Opposition Democratic Party leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov arrested in Moscow at the request of Tajik prosecutors, who seek his extradition on terrorism and corruption charges. His supporters say the move is politically motivated.

2005 February - Ruling party wins overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections. International observers say poll fails to meet acceptable standards.

2005 April - Opposition leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov is released in Moscow after the Tajik authorities' extradition request is turned down, but he is later kidnapped and rearrested in Tajikistan.

2005 June - Russian border guards complete withdrawal, handing the task over to Tajik forces.

2005 October - Opposition leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov sentenced in Dushanbe to 23 years in jail on terrorism and corruption charges

2006 August - Gaffor Mirzoyev, former top military commander, imprisoned for life on charges of terrorism and plotting to overthrow the government. His supporters say the trial was politically motivated.

2006 November - President Rahmonov wins a third term, in an election which international observers say is neither free nor fair.

2007 March - President Rahmonov orders that babies no longer be registered under Russian-style surnames, and himself drops the Russian ending -ov from his own name.

2008 April - International Monetary Fund (IMF) orders the return of loan of $47m after it finds Tajikistan submitted false data.

Agreements with Russia, US

2008 July - Russia agrees to write off Tajikistan's $240m debt in return for cession of a Soviet-designed space tracking station.

2009 January - Agreement signed with US military allowing it to transport non-military supplies to Afghanistan over Tajik territory.

2010 February - President Rakhmon's People's Democratic Party wins an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections. International monitors say widespread fraud took place.

2011 January - Tajikistan settles a century-old border dispute with China by agreeing to cede some land.

2012 April - Tajikistan accuses Uzbekistan of an economic blockade, citing gas supply cuts and rail freight curbs. Tensions are high over a Tajik dam that Uzbekistan fears will restrict irrigation water supplies.

2012 October - Tajikistan grants Russia 30-year extension on Soviet-era military base seen as bulwark against Islamist militancy and drug-trafficking. The lease on the base had been due to expire in 2014.

2013 November - President Rakhmon wins another seven years in office.

2015 May - The head of Tajikistan's Special Forces, Gulmurod Khalimov, claims in a newly released video that he has joined the jihadist group Islamic State in protest at what he calls the government's anti-Islamic policies.

Main opposition party banned

2015 September - Eight policemen are killed after gunmen attack a government building and police state in and around the capital Dushanbe. The government says the gunmen were led by a deputy minister.

Government bans the country's leading opposition party, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, accusing it of fomenting armed protests which leave dozens of people dead.

2016 May - Referendum supports constitutional changes which scrap presidential term limits.

2016 October - Work begins on the controversial Rogun hydroelectric dam on the Vakhsh river. Downstream neighbour Uzbekistan has strongly opposed the dam, fearing the impact on its agriculture.

2017 April - Official media required to refer to President Rahmon by his elaborate full title of "Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, His Excellency Emomali Rahmon".

2018 July - Four tourists on bicycles are killed in what the authorities describe as a terror attack.